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Stage IIA, T3, N0, M0 rectal cancer - new diagnosis

Steven Christop...
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2018

Hello,  I found out 21 days ago that I have a nickle sized cancerous tumor in my rectum.  I'm 56.  Stage IIA, T3, N0, M0.  I start chemo and radiation treaments on Monday.  I feel like Sunday, September 9th will be my last normal day of life.  Once the chemo (Xeloda) and radiation kick in I am afraid of hair loss, and diarrhea, incontinence, etc.  Like everyone else I guess.

Any advice on how to deal with all this?  The chemo?  The radiation?  The fear?  I'd like to hear from folks who are or were in a similar situation.

Thanks.

Tunadog's picture
Tunadog
Posts: 226
Joined: Mar 2017

I would wait until I had a problem 

 

mountainhiker
Posts: 54
Joined: Aug 2018

My situation was a bit worse than yours (stage iv, liver mets) and I'll just tell you what one of the wonderful nurses at my oncologist told me when I was trying to plan out every detail of my upcoming cancer journey.  She simply said: "You haven't even had your first chemo treatment yet.  Relax and take this one day at a time."  

Welcome to the forum.

mountainhiker

jonesy2315
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2018

Hey Mountainhiker

 

I was recently diagnosed with pretty much exactly what you described, the one day at a time comment from your nurse resonates with me now. I've done enough depressing reading, ie: stats etc, I avoided doing it until the shock wore off, which has happened and now I'm ready to join my surgeon and oncologist in the battle ahead. I don't know where to start on this forum regarding chats or discussions, I'm glad I found this forum, hopefully I can contribute and learn here. Not really saying much here I don't think...maybe I'm not quite over the shock yet. Have you now started chemo ? I apologize if I could have found this info out elsewhere but it's late and I'm quite tired, I suppose I'm just looking to speak with people who understand what it is I'm going through. 

Thanks

Jonesy

 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4711
Joined: Jan 2013

Here is the forum home page.  A great place to post a new thread and introduce yourself

https://csn.cancer.org/forum/128

You have found the right place for support. We all know the ins and outs, and we're all willing to learn and to share what we have learnt. 

Look forward to seeing your posts.

Tru

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 804
Joined: Apr 2017

Everyone is different.  If it were me, I would get as much exercise and good nutrition as possible before the chemo.  Also, a bit of advice from this board that I followed to my advantage was to use a heavy cream (Eucerin for me) on your hands and feet, starting immediately.  It might make sense to get a prescription for an anti-nausea med in advance of starting treatment.  If you want a preview of possible side effects, you might search the posts for Xeloda/Capecitabine postings.  Sorry you are here, but you will likely find this board to be a good source for information about side effects and strategies.

Steven Christop...
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2018

mountainhiker, I'm trying to take all this one day at a time.  Some days it feels like a tsunami though.  Thanks.

SandiaBuddy, thanks for your comments.  I've already got the anti-nausea meds if I need them.  I'll check for info on the Xeloda.

I have to keep reminding myself that people have lived through this.  I hope to be one of them!

Steven Christop...
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2018

Thanks, Tunadog.

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 777
Joined: Oct 2017

I'd suggest doing some logistics planning in setting up a system to take the Xeloda and tracking it and in getting to/from the radiation facility and making sure that you drink 20 or 24 ounces of water before your appointment (the radiation center should talk to you about that).

I found very little in the way of effects of the chemo and radiation until the third week. I think that the Xeloda can cause diarrhea while the radiation can cause constipation. Miralax and Imodium are often suggested to control them.

The Xeloda will likely knock your white and red cell counts so you will feel tired and your body won't be as able to fight infection so maybe limit the amount of time in places where people may be sick. Get any needed dental work done before you start.

The issues with burning skin showed up around week 3 or 4 for me. Your doctor may have product samples to help deal with the burning issues. Going to the bathroom can become very painful too, especially near the end. The pain stopped around two weeks after the end of treatment for me.

You might consider Depends Shields for Men. These are small pads that go in your underwear to contain small leaks.

The cancer stuff is a long and tough journey but we'll help you through it.

 

 

Steven Christop...
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2018

Mikenh,

Thanks for your honesty.  Wearing Depends or Shields was/is a fear of mine.  I hate this.  I'm glad to hear that you adapted and lived through it.  That gives me hope.  I just don't know if I have the strength for this.  I'm trying to focus on today - the one day at a time motto.  

When you wore the Shields, is that something you just put on everyday before you went out?  Only during the radiation treatments?  For a while after the treatments ended?

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 777
Joined: Oct 2017

I started using Depends shields when I noticed leakage. And I just wore them to keep things cleaner. The Shields are pretty small. Things will likely get pretty rough in the second half of the treatment as the radiation has to go through your skin to get to the tumor. You may have an easier time of it as your tumor is a lot smaller than mine was. It's possible that you will get a Pathalogical Complete Response as well and not need surgery; maybe just followup chemo.

The Shields are not diapers. They are just small pads.

This is a video of me hitting tennis balls (I'm in the foreground) on my next to last day of chemo and radiation and I am wearing the Shields. It doesn't look like I have cancer or am on chemo and radiation. So your capabilities may be somewhat limited but most can generally function.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_ipaq4HTk0&t=1082s

plsletitrain
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

Its good to prepare yourself for the worst but don't let it get into you.  That was what I did and I found out I was able to manage through it all, that I was stronger than I thought I'd be.  I'm still on chemo now and the effects are cumulative so its a bit harder but I know this too shall pass.

Good luck on your treatments.  Its not as bad as you'd think it be.  Xeloda or radiation (I think) doesn't make you lose your hair.  I think the worst side effect I've experienced is fatigue and loss of appetite.  You'll get through it just fine.  

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4711
Joined: Jan 2013

Oh, how I remember the stage you are at now.  The good thing is, soon you will be at the stage WE are now. But, until then, roll with those feelings of fear. They will be with you forever, just not as intense as they are right now. 

Stage II is better than Stage III which is better than Stage IV. So think on that, and give thanks to the universe, God or the space above you. But, it doesn't matter the stage at the end of the day, its Cancer, and Cancer is scary. 

Chemo. I did the Oxaliplatin and 5FU, so can't help with the Xeloda, except listen to our friend Sandiabuddy. Slather up those hands and feet, because once the skin splits, it heals very slowly if at all, during chemo. 

Radiation. I could scare the poop right out of you telling you how bad it was for me. But for many folks, it isn't so bad. Just be prepared. Be prepared for it to be bad, while hoping for it to be good. My advice in preparation for radiation is to buy some Depend underwear. Keep a spare set of unders and trousers in the car, and pray you don't need them.  I was very thankful for the Depends - Depends were my friends (past tense). 

Pure Aloe vera worked well for my radiation burns. Not the gel kind, but organic and pure. You have to keep it in the fridge.  Its really a matter of finding out what works best for you, but always good to have something on hand. I also use Vitamin E oil. 

A good suggestion though is to try and take it one day at a time. Don't look ahead too much, when you've enough on your plate right now. 

I'm sorry for your diagnosis. 

Tru

 

Steven Christop...
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2018

Tru,  thank you for your response.  It's helpful to hear from people who have gone through this.  The doctors and medical team are helpful, but no one has said anything about the possibility of needed Depends or pads.  Ugh!  Did you just put the Depends on before you left the house everyday?  Or only during the radiation or chemo treatments?

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4711
Joined: Jan 2013

Sorry, I couldn't resist. 

Yes, I had to wear them everyday. For the most part it would 'catch' what was coming out, enough for me to get to the loo and clean up and not get it all over my clothes (which has happened more times than I care to tell).  They are basically made for urinary incontinance, so don't absorb the feces. But, it is better than your cotton underwear. 

And, it doesn't last forever. Don't worry about wearing them, let them be your friend, and then, when you're all through with this, it will be all in the past.  

Good luck!

Tru

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 777
Joined: Oct 2017

You can use Depends for fecal incontience by putting a pad on the back. I'm doing that right now. I also have some fecal incontinence things on order from Amazon which I'll try out as well. I've discovered Imodium so things are improving but I have to experiment with it to work on regaining control. I didn't have large issues on radiation - it was just very small dribbles.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6070
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm so sorry to hear of your diagnosis.  Read my "About Me" page.  Mine was also the size of a nickle.  I'm not sure what my staging was as you put yours, but you will probably go through about exactly, or close to, what my schedule was.  It has been over 9 years since my treatment, but I'm sure the protocal is close to the same.  We are here to help you get through this.  Let me know if you have any personal questions.  There are a lot of the issues that affects you that doctors don't tell you about.  Keep us up to date on what's next on your journey.  Wishing you well and a complete recovery.

Kim

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Annabelle41415
Posts: 6070
Joined: Feb 2009

Tomorrow I'll write a little more on my experience.  Just wondering if they mentioned anything about an ostomy, or temporary and if you are having surgery.  A little more info would be helpful if you know. 

Kim

Steven Christop...
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2018

Thanks folks!  

To Annabelle41415: How do I look at you "About Me" page?  Also, the doctor does want to give me an ostomy bag while the TME surgery heals.  I thought it would only be there until the surgery heals, but the chemo doctor wants me to do four and a half months of chemo after that.  So it looks like I have to deal with the ostomy bag for five months, or more.  I am not looking forward to that.

Another question I have for folks, I'm wondering about the need for the chemo after surgery.  They are going to give me radiation and chemo to kill the cancer cells before surgery, then cut the cancer out.  What good is the chemo afterwards?  Especially four and a half more months of it?  Not sure if I want to go through any side effects of the chemo for that long if I don't have to.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4711
Joined: Jan 2013

and its a hard one. 

You don't have to have mop-up chemo, but if they suggest it, then its a decision you have to think carefully about. 

There are folks on the forum who have chosen not to have mop-up, and I'm sure they will be along soon to share their advice. But I also know one member, who visits very seldom, because her husband has passed, who would tell you her story, as sad as it is. Her husband went from Stage I to Stage IV, and then passed. It happens, sadly. And for others, they go about their lives with no recurrance and live 'happily ever after'. 

Only you will be able to make that decision, but you have done the wise thing in asking for others advice. 

Just to jump in and answer your question to Kim. If you hover your cursor over Anabelle's name in the blue sidebar, then click, it will take you to her profile page, and I believe there is where you can find her story. 

Tru

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6070
Joined: Feb 2009

Thanks Tru, it was nice of you to help him out.  I've been getting on the board so late, I'm glad you were able to explain it.

Kim

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6070
Joined: Feb 2009

I've gotten on the board so late I'm not able to post what could benefit you.  If you click on my name "Annabelle41415" and then look to the top of the page in the light green space there will be an "about Me" page.  It will tell you what I've been through.  The need for chemo after is called "mop up" if there is no spread.  It is supposed to ensure that no cells have been released to float or escape and then attach to other organs after surgery.  Radiation and chemo works for several months after quitting so it is still effective even though you are done.  They want to let it do it's job to kill as many cancer cells as possible to get a clean margin when doing surgery.  Then after that to do "mop up" chemo to kill the left over cells that might have been released.  Once again, I'm sorry this post is so short.

Kim

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 777
Joined: Oct 2017

The reason for the ostomy is for the the healing after surgery and to make going through chemo more comfortable. Adjuvant Chemo (the chemo after surgery) can result in pretty bad diarrhea and it's a lot easier to deal with it with an ileostomy than with your large intestine. The Adjuvant Chemo is generally more difficult than the Neo-Adjuvant Chemo (chemo before surgery). If you live in an area where it is cold, then it can get uncomfortable.

Stage 2A is a gray area for Adjuvant Chemo. Some people will do what's called "Wait and Watch", so no Adjuvant Chemo, just surveillance (blood work and scans). It works fine for some and some regret it because they have a recurrence. I have Stage 3B and the protocol is Adjuvant Chemo whether A, B or C. That choice would be up to you and your doctor.

On surgery: I would recommend getting a board-certified colorectal surgeon. I would further suggest getting your surgery at a major/volume/top cancer center if possible. I had my chemo and radiation locally but went to Boston for the surgery as there aren't any specialist surgeons in my state for working on this kind of cancer.

Treatment protocols for Stage 2 and Stage 3 are under some experimentation (clinical trials) and change. The protocol is Neo-Adjuvant Chemo and Radiation, Surgery, Adjuvant Chemo, Reversal of the Ileostomy. The newer approach is called Total Neo-Adjuvant Therapy and it's in clinical trials at major cancer centers. TNT starts with 1) Chemo and Radiation and then the old post-surgical chemo or 2) The old post-surgical chemo and then chemo and radiation. If the patient has a pathalogical complete response, then surgery might not be required.

There's a paper on this at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1533002817300543

 

 

 

airborne72's picture
airborne72
Posts: 273
Joined: Sep 2012

Steven:

My experience with rectal cancer is almost identical to yours, including my questions and concerns.  If you can figure out how to search this forum for all of my posts (Airborne 72) then you can read my posts chronologically as I journeyed through this nightmare.  My initial post was in July 2017, I believe.

But, to give you some idea of my experience I will summarize.  During an annual physical exam in April 2017 I requested a colonoscopy because I had been experiencing chronic constipation and some bloody stools.  That test revealed a large cancerous tumor (stage 2). 

I underwent the neo adjuvant chemo/radiation treatment in July/August (Xeloda pills and radiation for 5+weeks).  After a few weeks of rest/recovery I underwent a resection surgery in early October 2017.  Based upon the surgeon's judgement, he placed an ileosotomy in me (high on my right side) to allow my colon ample time to heal since it appeared to have sustained some damage from the radiation.  I told him before the surgery that I trusted his judgement and authorized him to do so, but that was not what I wanted to hear when I came out of the recovery room.  Oh well.

Next, my oncologist recommended that I undergo the adjuvant chemo therapy (FOLFOX6) for 12 weeks.  I told him that I would only do 6 weeks because my hands already had been damaged from diseases (Reynauld's Syndrome and Dupytrens Contractures) and I would not accept any further medically induced damage to them.  He agreed.  However, the chemo therapy hit me so hard that my overall health was being devastated (weight dropped to 128 pounds) so I tapped out after three sessions.  My last chemo infustion was in mid December 2017.  I have had one CT scan since then and it was clear (NED = no evidence of disease).  I will have my next follow-up CT scan on 10 September (only a few days from now).

The radiation and Xeloda did not make my hair fall out.  It did cause some controllable diarheaa and fatigue, with the fatigue being the greater issue.  The adjuvant chemo did cause much greater impact (lack of energy, reduced appetite, chronic fatigue, and depression).

After I had my ileostomy reversed, I was very lucky and have not been plagued with the fecal incontinence described by others.  For about three weeks after my reversal I was not in control of my bowels, but that changed and now I do not have to wear diapers nor Depends pads.  However, my cycle for bowel movements is more frequent and occurs too often at night.  Consequently, my sleep cycle is interrupted and over time this degrades my quality of life.

Back to your basic question - what is the best course of action considering your age and stage of cancer.  With 20-20 hindsight and "my" particulars, I would not have submitted to the resection surgery.  That invasive procedure caused me more disruption than anything else.  I say this based upon the fact that after my neo adjuvant chemo/radiation my tumor was gone.  It did not show on the pre surgery CT scan nor did the surgeon see it during the resection surgery.  Afterwards, while I lay in the hospital bed with an ileostomy bag and a very sore midsection, I began to ask myself why I agreed to the surgery.

Each of us are different.  Please do not let my story be your "sole" determinant in your decision process.  Continue to ask questions and seek input from those of us who have walked this path.  By the way, I was 66 during my adventure.  Where you are in life influences your decisions.

Jim

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 552
Joined: Dec 2017

Chemo got rid of your tumor? We are different because I am stage 4. I had a recurrence on my liver 6 weeks after I stopped chemo. This time, surgery is not an option. And my oncologist said I will never go very long without a recurrence now because chemo cannot get rid of it permanently, only surgery can. I refuse to give up hope though.

Reshma's picture
Reshma
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2017

I had colon surgery and liver surgery and chemo. Recurrence in liver last year November.  Microwave ablation and the tumours in the liver  just became more vicious.  MRI Scan revealed more tumours. Doc says no hope for another liver resection. Treatment options panitumamab but its a scheme exclusion so medical aid will not pay. Other option keytruda immunotherapy but medical aid does not pay for that either costing R1.8 m. He had put me back on Erbitux with xeloda. But he does not have much hope. Don't know what to do anymore. just  living each day without much hope. 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4711
Joined: Jan 2013

I am sorry to read about your prognoisis, but please, don't give up, because there is always hope. 

Here is the link to the forum home page.https://csn.cancer.org/forum/128 .  PLEASE post there and introduce yourself. Let people know you fears, copy and past your post from here, if you want.

We really want to help you face this journey. We will help you find that hope.

Tru 

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 552
Joined: Dec 2017

Were you diagnosed in 2017 or 2012?

airborne72's picture
airborne72
Posts: 273
Joined: Sep 2012

Abita:

I had prostate cancer in 2009 with some residual complications from the original surgery that required even more surgical interventions.  Somewhere in there I discovered this site and joined in 2012.  My rectal cancer was diagnosed in May 2017.  Once again I found this site and tried to join.  That's when I received a message informing me that I was already a member.  Duh - I had forgotten.

The neo adjuvant chemo and radiation totally eradicated my rectal tumor but the surgeon recommended the resection because it is standard practice.  As you know, we live in a state of fear (low or high depending upon several factors) regarding recurrence, so most often we will do exactly what the medical community recommends.  As I said, with 20-20 hindsight and a sense of bravado since my cancer has not metastisized, my resection surgery caused me more lifetime disruption than any of the other treatments and my question was and is - did I really need to have the surgical procedure?

I will have a CT scan tomorrow, followed by an appointment with my oncologist on Friday.  Those of us in the stage 2 zone have only a small chance of recurrence, but still that thought (fear) moves to the forefront of our conscientiousness when we submit to these screenings.  For the next few days my sense of bravado will be "shaky" until the results are reviewed.

Jim

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 552
Joined: Dec 2017

Good luck with your scan. That does give me some hope though. My spread is in liver. The recurrence happened right after I stopped chemo. But they can't be removed surgically, so he said they will always come back when I was saying maybe I could go a couple of years without recurrence so I can have some good years and some chemo years. He said no. I am refusing to believe that lifetime chemo is all I have to look forward to. I believe either I will have a miracle and chemo does completely kill my tumors, or that there will be a cure.

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 777
Joined: Oct 2017

I think that the Total Neo-Adjuvant Therapy trials are even for Stage 3 patients. The additional percentage that avoids surgery is small (8%) but that translates to a lot of real people.

Have you tried Imodium for sleeping through the night? One pill seems to shut me down from 24 to 36 hours. I might try half a pill.

Sestra17's picture
Sestra17
Posts: 41
Joined: Jan 2018

My radiation oncologist prescribed Silvadene creme when I developed radiation burns. Such a God send, cleared them up in less than a week.

darcher's picture
darcher
Posts: 257
Joined: Jun 2017

  I don't like to sugar coat things so this will be blunt.   I had a nearly identicle treatment plan and cancer as yours although they said inititially it was stage III from the colonoscopy.  I'm about the same age.  Contracted this when I was 55.  Im now 56 and getting ready for another PET scan. 

  The radiation will burn things it shouldn't.  You'll lose control over your bodily functions.  Stock up on depends, you're going to need them. The number 2 issues will fade after time and you'll be able to do that somewhat normally.  It's been months since the chemo and radiation ended and the funny thing is, most of this didn't come on until long after radiation ended which seems to be the main culprit.  Oh, and I lost the ability to have an orgasm.  It still feels like one but nothing comes out.  When in radiation I'd feel nothing.  Little did I realize I was a late bloomer. 

  Although I came through it all without any complications or need for bags and whatnot I can honestly say this has been the worst experience of my life.  Because of this I may have to wear depends for the rest of my life since I can't hold it very long when I need to go.  It's not perfect and I supposed I shouldn't complain.  There are people our age and younger that are now dead from cancer.  

  So, my advice is to follow the doctors orders without question.  If they give you an option pick the one that the doctor would use on themself.  

Things to get:  Depends, lots of them.  ( super jumbo count size)

                      A soft toilet seat. You'll be spending a lot of your waking hours sitting there.

                      Baby wipes ( no such thing as flushable so don't flush them.) 

 

If you want to read a horror story take a gander at my blog.

 

LSU2001
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2017

I did not really have any horror stories from radiation but I did have some pretty painful anal issues from radiation burns and from lack of anal control.  In addition to darcher's post, I bought a simple cold water bidet to install on my toilet (about 50 bucks)  and I built a "squatty potty).  This platform for my feet while sitting on the toilet really helped make my bowel movements easiser with much less straining.  This seemed to help to keep the hemmoroidal inflamation down some.  The best thing for the anal pain and irritation was a hydrocortisone cream along with a lidocane cream.  I would mix the two and apply to the anal area and this would do two things, 1. reduce inflammation and 2. numb the area for awhile.  while not a permenant fix by any means, it sure helped me cope with the nearly constant pain in and around my anus. 

TIm

BTW darcher, you are not alone with the whole lack of ejaculation thing.  I have the same issue and it has been over two years since my radiation therapy.

SonicSedition's picture
SonicSedition
Posts: 30
Joined: May 2018

Hi Steven, first of all let me say that I am sorry that you find yourself here. Rest assured that people here will do whatever they can to assist you. That being said, you and I are twins in our diagnoses and treatment. I went through the standard chemo/rad protocol with Xeloda dosed at 2 500mg pills am and 3 pm with rad 5 days a week. At least you get the weekends off which lends a whole new meaning to TGIF ;)

As others have said, everyone is different. I had almost 0 issues with the Xeloda but did have some Frequency, urgency urinary issues about 3 weeks in regarding the radiation. I had to plan everything out if I was away from home as I had generally about 30-35 minutes before I had to go again. About 4 weeks in, I was going #2 many times a day and night. A month after treatment, for me, most of this went away. The radiation treatments themselves are painless and fast.

I also had no issues with hair loss on the Xeloda and rad. From what I understand from radiation buddies I met going through the same thing, they didn't either, but again, everyone is different. Exercise, eat well and avoid what I call info overload. Stick with sites like this one and the government sites and stay away from sites promising cures and remedies. A ton of misinformation out there and it's only going to make things worse. Find a hobby or passion and spend your free time doing that. It helps to take your mind off the 24/7 fear and worry. It's not the 60's, advancements in treatments and robotic surgeries have come along way. If you can be thankful for one thing, it's that this happened in this day and age.

Personally, I just went through APR (Abdominoperineal (Rectal) Resection) surgery with a permanent colostomy 3 weeks ago and recovering nicely. Not looking forward to mop-up chemo starting next Monday. You didn't say what type of surgery you were going to have, but we can give you some insight into that as well.

Good luck and please let us know if you have any other questions. This group helped me a lot and all you have to do is ask and we are happy to help wherever we can ;)

 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2472
Joined: Sep 2014

I had no issues with radiation. If it's rectal, I think you'll be lying on your tummy so less tissue will be damaged. I'd do radiation over chemo any day. What helped me was that my radiation was in Feb/March and it was still cold out and after I'd get into my car with leather seats and I think the cool seat helped to reduce the burn because I never had any burns. My tumour was low but not quite in the rectum so I had to lie face down during radiation. 

The radiarion is really quick and there's no pain during it. It takes maybe a couple of minutes from the time they get you positioned. I already had an illeostomy so I didn't worry about incontinence. 

For nausea, I've tried a very expensive anti-nausea drug designed for people on chemo which does nothing for me, also a CBD/THC pill that's supposed to combat nausea but doesn't help, and now I just take Gravol and it works great, ironically.

Try to stay off pf Google and look at stats. They're depressing and not necessarily accurate. They can be outdated and everyone's cancer journey is different. I'm coming up to five years post diagnosis and intend to be here for a long time. I was diagnosed at stage three and am now stage four due to mets in one lung. I will be in maintenance chemo for life to keep the lung tumours at a safe size but my onc thinks they'll never actually be gone. I'm okay with it. My quailty of live isn't what it was but it's acceptable. I had surgery recently and previous to it they figured I had mets in my liver as well and that the cancer had progressed in my abdomen. It turned out that neither is true. They opened me up and went through everything carefully and took out any bowel that looked like it might give me grief in the future so my quality of life should imptove once I fully recover from the surgery.

Good luck! We're here for you and the other new membrs who have posted on this thread.

Jan

mozart13
Posts: 118
Joined: Nov 2016

I had 25 sessions of chemo/rad, was breeze. Was T1T2N0M0 RC, got completlly erased with chemo/rad.

Avoided antioxidants during chemo, protein diet was my main diet,kept active. Would eat before taking xeloda, no issuess there.

Almost 2 years negative , finished so now call TNT, didn't need surgery, never looked back.

Good luck!

 

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 552
Joined: Dec 2017

Where were your tumors? I have been hoping that it is possible that my 2 small lesions that I got as recurrence in liver can be gone with just the chemo

mozart13
Posts: 118
Joined: Nov 2016

Rectal cancer, 9cm from anal verge, one polyp 4.2 cm in size

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